Think you might wish to participate in a short collaborative survey in which we trying to improve our understanding of the relationship between carshare suppliers and local government in a cross-section of countries and environments? We are hoping to cover cities of a range of sizes, including both high performers and those as yet without much of a strategy. It will be important to cover both ends of the spectrum.
- Ian Perry, Independent consultant and consultant. Cardiff, Wales
The importance of citizen participation in decision-making was highlighted yesterday evening at a public meeting in Penarth, South Wales, attended by 147 frustrated citizens who showed their willingness to participate in their communities decision-making. An attempt to force the Vale of Glamorgan (county) council (Vale council) to hold a referendum on proposals for the National Cycle Network (NCN) failed by just 17 votes. 133 votes against 5 were for a referendum on the matter, with 150 votes needed under current legislation.
This collaborative project takes the form of an “open conversation” looking into the pros and cons, the possibilities, barriers and perhaps eventual impossibilities, of creating an equity-based transportation system at the level of a city and its surrounding region. This first pioneering project, in what we hope will become a series of leading world city projects building on this first example, is being carried out under the leadership of the Helsinki Department of City Planning and Transportation, and is taking place over the period mid-February through mid-April 2912. (You will find further working papers and supporting media sources in the second half of this introduction.)
It appears that the folks at the Lucknow Municipal Corporation have a curious notion of the meaning and purpose of public participation. When their funding proposals under the centrally sponsored scheme for urban development (JNNURM) were rejected due to the lack of public participation, they came up with the brilliant idea of a “city volunteer technical corps” that would participate in the planning process. Members will be chosen by the city corporation based on “expertise” in planning and related areas. The newspaper also reports that a prior attempt to constitute such a consultative body was aborted when “undesirable” persons who were not “experts” entered the consultative group. The corporation promises only to include “desirable” persons this time round. Read More
The pie chart you will find just below graphically illustrates the state of street space allocation today in New York City, after four years of hard work on a committed local effort by city government and many associations to free street space for pedestrians, bikes and buses. All that for less than one half of one percent of the public space given over to cars. So here is our question this morning: Do things look any better in your city in 2011? We invite your reports and comments. Continue reading